exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Wet Basement? What is the Cause and Best Solution?

Ever wonder what causes a wet basement or what the best solution is? Having a wet basement and trying to figure out the best solution can be quite stressful to a homeowner.  First of all, lets discuss what causes a wet basement.  To put it simply, there are two sources of basement seepage; ground water and surface water.  How can you tell the difference between the two?

Some basements may have wet walls, which includes moisture on more than just the bottom row of block.  This is an indication of water getting into the foundation from surface water activity.  The best way to dry out the basement in this case is to restore the waterproofing seal on the outside of the basement walls by installing an exterior basement waterproofing system.

fixing a wet basement

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

On the other hand, if your basement walls are dry but there is seepage where the floor and wall meet, it is most likely a ground water problem under the foundation.  You may notice heaved floor cracks or discoloration in the cement.  When ground water builds up under a basement floor, the best way to fix a wet basement in this case is with interior sub floor footer drains.  This allows diversion of the water before it builds up to floor level.

Fixing a wet basement

Interior Basement Waterproofing

How Can You Find the Right Contractor?

Look for a basement waterproofing contractor that offers all methods of basement waterproofing.  Beware of companies that tell you that there is only one way to fix a wet basement.  They may claim to be a full service waterproofing company, yet they only offer their “patented system” and tell you that this is the best and only option.  Many of these companies claim to be full service.  They train their sales force to review the options they don’t actually install in a way that would cause you to say you do not want them, such as exaggerating the cost or minimizing the benefits.

There is no “one size fits all” solution that works for everyone.  Each type of basement waterproofing system works differently so it is important to know what the cause of your issue is.

Call Pioneer Basement Solutions for a zero-obligation quote and basement evaluation.  We can offer a no-nonsense solution to fix your wet basement.  We do not use pushy sales techniques nor try to use scare tactics in order to intimidate homeowners.  Contact us today and learn more about fixing your wet basement permanently and correctly!

Mold in the Basement – A Common Concern

Mold in the Basement

Many homeowners are concerned with a common yet worrisome occurrence; mold in the basement.  The following quote from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains how mold may enter the home:
“Mold spores occur in the indoor and outdoor environments. Spores may enter your house from the outside through open doorways, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems with outdoor air intakes. Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors.

When spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow.”

mold in the basement

Basements are particularly susceptible to mold growth due to excess moisture.  The growth does not have to become widespread to be a threat to your health.  If your basement has a problem with water intrusion, it is quite possible that you may also have a problem with mold.

Many people use bleach in attempt to solve this issue.  While this can be useful on hard surfaces, such as glass, tile, and bathtubs, bleach can not completely kill live spores growing on porous surfaces like drywall, wood, and concrete.  There are various other remediation products on the market.  How can you sort through all of the products and information in order to make the right choice for your family?  A common sense approach can be taken to resolve this issue.

Evaluation by a Specialist

When dealing with such an issue, it is best to respect the potential health risks involved.  Have the problem area inspected by someone who is qualified in mold assessment.  They can perform an evaluation and then recommend the best solution.

Remove the Source of the Problem

Simply removing the mold will not completely solve your problem.  The cause of the problem must also be eliminated.  Even once spores are removed, recontamination can occur if there is still a source of moisture.  If you are dealing with excess moisture or water intrusion in your basement, contact Pioneer Basement Solutions.  We have trained mold assessment specialists that are also qualified to make an evaluation of any basement water issues.  We never use fear mongering in order to “scare” a homeowner into agreeing to a job.  We simply give our honest evaluation and a common sense solution.

Contact us today! to learn more about mold in the basement

basement wall repair

Basement Wall Repair

Basement Wall Repair

How do you know what the best basement wall repair is for your basement?  There are several types of foundation repair methods available and each is designed to solve a specific issue. There are basement walls that are tipping in at the top and basement walls that are bowing in along a horizontal crack.  Then there are foundations that are crumbling or have severe mortar rot.  Some basements have settling issues which result in vertical cracks in basement walls or stair step cracking in the walls.  And then there are basement walls that have a sheer break in them resulting in the wall sliding inwards along the break.

Interviewing foundation repair companies can add to the confusion because you may get differing proposals.  The reason this may happen is due the numerous foundation repair companies that hire and train salespeople to sell a specific product or method.  Foundation repair contractors that are part of a national chain or franchise will only propose (quote) the solutions they have contractual agreements to sell.  These contractors often present many solutions and go through a sales process to bring you to a conclusion that the one product they install is the one you need.  So look for locally owned and operated foundation repair contractors who can not only offer different solutions but also install any of them when you need basement wall repair.

bowing basement wall needing basement wall repair

Bowing basement walls

basement wall sheering

Basement wall shifting off base / sheering

basement wall collapse

Basement wall collapse

basement wall mortar rot

Basement wall with mortar rotting and block decaying

As a rule of thumb, basement walls that are bowing in can be reinforced to prevent further movement.  Note: up to 2″ of inward bowing or less is required, anything beyond that and your wall is no longer structurally sound and should be replaced. Some basement walls can be straightened, but only if there are open cracks that have never been filled in.  Continuing the thought of straightening bowing basement walls, to do it properly you must excavate the soil away on the outside first to relieve the pressure allowing the wall to go back to its best position.  Walls that have the cracks caulked or filled in will not straighten up.  The filler binds the joint and prevents the crack that opened from closing back up which is what straightening the wall is actually doing.

Back to reinforcing bowing basement walls.  Steel I beams as a basement wall repair method can be used.  Steel I beams are to be buried below the floor and cemented in at the bottom and properly attached to the wood structure above.  In this scenario the floor below and the wood structure above are actually holding the I beam in place.  Steel beams are straight so they only touch the wall where it is bowed out.  The gaps at top and bottom between the wall and beam should be filled in to prevent the wall from shifting behind the beam.  Downsides are steel beams are unsightly, can rust, and still can flex.  Also if the soil conditions outside push on the wall it can cause the beam to put pressure on the wood structure causing it to shift or twist.

The latest basement wall repair method for bowing basement walls is carbon fiber mesh “straps” which are embedded into the face of your foundation walls. And the latest of those are made by Fortress Stabilization who has developed a system made of both carbon fiber and Kevlar meshed together giving them the ultimate in tensile and shear strength. These straps are smooth to the wall and paintable making them barely noticeable.  Carbon fiber / Kevlar mesh straps are embedded into the face of the wall with a two part epoxy becoming part of the structure.  How this method works is that the straps are inflexible / do not stretch so they create tension on the wall preventing movement.  Soil pressure outside is diffused and the wall is permanently stabilized.

If your basement wall has a sheer, meaning a row of block has slid inward off of the row below it a half inch or more, it needs to be replaced.  Some basement walls with a sheer less than a half inch can be stabilized with steel beams to prevent further movement but for the most part this is an indication of severe drainage problems resulting in water build up at the bottom of the basement wall outside.  This build up results in the foundation and or mortar rotting out, becoming weak, and resulting in the shift.  Often times this results in dirt and/or mud coming into the basement through the broken areas.

Tipping basement walls are a result of them not being well attached to the structure above during construction.  This is a wall that is straight from bottom to top but leaning inward at the top.  This is different from bowing as you will not see a horizontal crack that is opened up.  Fixing tipping basement walls involves first removing the soil outside to relieve pressure.  Then a system of steel beams and screws / jacks are used to slowly push the wall back into its best possible position.  The steel beams can be left in place to hold the wall from further movement or other methods can be used to secure the structure above to the foundation to prevent movement.

Obviously if you have a collapsed basement wall, it would need full replacement, enough said.

Crumbling and rotting foundations occur due to the original waterproofing seal failing, allowing water into the basement wall.  In many cases if this is caught early enough the wall can be excavated, repaired, reinforced, waterproofed, and ultimately saved.  The cost of going through all of that may be getting very close to replacing the basement wall and some walls with rot and decay should simply be replaced.

Settling foundations are those that are sinking into poor soil conditions.  Signs of a sinking foundation include stair step cracks, vertical cracks, and issues in the living space above such as cracked walls, ceilings, and doors that do not close properly.  To stop a settling foundation it requires installing reinforcement below the foundation installed into solid substrate.  This method is often called underpinning or piering.  We favor the Stabil-Loc Foundation Piering System. Its patent pending load bearing design installs directly under the wall being lifted. Its unique interlocking high strength steel construction can support up to 300,000 lbs. There are no bolts, no brackets, no breaking the footing, and no off-set loads. This pier carries an Engineer Certified safety factor of more than 10 to 1.

Contact Pioneer today get-arrow to schedule a no pressure visit to evaluate your foundation and the basement wall repair methods available.

 

 

Wet basement walls

Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

So many people want to know if they should choose exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing to stop their basement water seepage.  Some people want to know what solution will truly fix their problem where others just want the cheapest solution that will give them dry space.  And of course there are those who fall anywhere in between.  Let’s review the differences and what each solution accomplishes to help answer the question: Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

water entering basement walls through the soil=seal failure

If you have wet basement walls, or just damp basement walls that you have to scrape and paint more often than every five years to keep it looking decent then obviously water is getting into your basement foundation walls.  The best “fix” to solve the problem is to stop the water from getting into the foundation walls with exterior basement waterproofing.

The process of exterior basement waterproofing involves excavating down to the bottom of the foundation.  Then the walls are cleaned of debris etc… to prepare for application of a waterproof coating.  All cracks and gaps are filled in and a waterproof coating is brushed, rolled or sprayed on to the foundation sealing up the porous surface. Then a waterproof membrane is applied to completely waterproof the foundation.  At Pioneer we apply a dimpled membrane which gives added benefits of air gap technology and a bit of cushion against the soil pressure.

New foundation drainage is installed.  This step is as critical as the sealing of the foundation.  The new foundation drainage should be 4″ PVC perforated pipe and it should have a pitch, or downhill slope, towards the evacuation point.  The evacuation point is either a sump pump system or a gravity drain that either exits the surface somewhere away from the foundation, or ties to a city drainage system. Many contractors do not ensure proper flow of the drains away from the foundation because most municipalities do not require it.  I know that sounds crazy and it is.  This problem of drains not flowing properly is very prevalent in new construction.

After drainage is installed properly a back fill of gravel is installed over the foundation drains.  Top soil is then installed over the gravel with a positive slope away from the foundation.

If your basement walls are in good shape other than the bottom and you are getting seepage coming from the wall floor seam under heavy rain events an interior basement waterproofing system will give you a dry basement.  But the question is what will actually fix the problem, exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?  If the seepage is due to your exterior foundation drains failing, then replacing them on the outside will put you back to like new.  However, if you see signs of water under your basement floor, like floor cracks that are discolored or white powder on the floor in areas…or even actual water seepage from weak points in the floor itself, an interior basement waterproofing system is the only way to truly fix your problem.  We see people who have this problem and have hired other contractors to excavate their basement and waterproof from the outside only to continue leaking.  The reason is ground water build up under a foundation will get trapped under your floor and not make it to the outside drainage.

water under basement floor

white powder build up around floor cracks = water under the floor

Ground water problems usually show only after sustained periods of rain or fast heavy downpours.  The leaking appears at the wall – floor seams after these sustained conditions occur and may even continue to seep even after the rains stop.  This is because the ground water is building up around your foundation from below and has nowhere to go other than in to your basement until the water subsides to below your floor level.  In this scenario an interior basement waterproofing system will catch the water from below the floor level and prevent the buildup, relieving the hydrostatic pressure that pushes the water in.  Ok, so to call it “waterproofing” is not the best definition since it is actually a ground water control system also called a hydrostatic pressure relief system.  The term interior basement waterproofing has become the generic label for these systems although technically it does not consist of a waterproof membrane.  Nonetheless, you will have a guaranteed dry basement with an interior drainage system if you have a ground water problem.

Beware that not all interior basement waterproofing systems are equal.  Some systems are channels that are installed level under the floor or on top of the footer.  Level is the operative word here, level means water lays in there and creepy bugs love water.  Look for systems that consist of a true footer drain installed below the floor and is pitched to run downhill to the evacuation point. Furthermore, any water that is building up under the floor has to push up into the drain on top of the footer to get to the drain maintaining the water level at a very high point.

So do you think you are figuring out whether you need exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?  Give Pioneer a call for a free no obligation inspection and estimate.  All options are reviewed with pros and cons for your specific foundation.  No sales games, no pressure, just straightforward conversation.

get-arrow

Exterior basement waterproofing or interior basement waterproofing?

sump pump battery backup

Sump pump battery backup system

Sump pump battery backup system

Sump pump battery backup system now available from PumpSpy is newest addition in smart home technology

sump pump battery backup system

If you have a sump pump in your basement or crawl space then you have probably wondered about the need to install a sump pump battery backup system. The thought of a power outage during a heavy rain or snow melt (or even worse both!) and a sump pump that doesn’t work resulting in a flooded space is a real nightmare.  Sump pumps will eventually fail simply due to mechanical issues too… and you never know when that will happen.

So how do you protect yourself from a sump pump failure whether it is a power outage or mechanical failure?  Consider the PumpSpy smart sump pump battery backup system. PumpSpy’s smart backup pump is a system that constantly monitors your primary sump pump, backup pump and battery. If any problem is detected, homeowners receive alerts through text messages, email and the PumpSpy app on your phone.

So How Does it Work?

The PumpSpy battery backup sump pump uses cellular technology to constantly monitor your entire sump pump system and uses predictive maintenance to alert you of any potential problem. This is also known as “model based” condition monitoring. This method involves spectral analysis on your pump(s) current and voltage signals and then compares the measured parameters to a known and learned model of the pump(s) to diagnose various electrical and mechanical anomalies. This process of “model based” condition monitoring was originally designed and used on NASA’s space shuttle to monitor and detect developing faults in the space shuttle’s main engine.

pumpspy sump pump battery backup systemMany people ask about how long the battery will last before needing to be replaced.  Just like the battery in your car your backup battery will eventually need to be replaced, and often times we do that after our car doesn’t start!  The PumpSpy monitors the battery output during routine self-testing.  This information will help you to know when your battery is still okay, but is ready to be replaced.  Your typical off the shelf battery backup systems do not do this… so what can happen is when you experience a pump failure your basic off the shelf system switches to battery mode but a dead battery means no back up!

In the event your primary pump fails due to a mechanical issue, the PumpSpy system automatically switches over to the backup pump allowing you the time you need to fix the problem.  But again, being a smart system…the PumpSpy actually monitors the output of your primary sump pump.  So you will be able to see when your pump is starting to go bad buying you the time to replace it before it fails!

Again, your typical “off the shelf” smart home / connected home products use your Wi-Fi to report data.  This is great, except when there is a power outage!  So when you are relaxing on a warm sunny beach somewhere and back at home there is rain on top of snow melting with a power outage, PumpSpy’s cellular technology is still alive and well giving you the data you need when you need it.

Let’s review the benefits of PumpSpy’s sump pump battery backup system

  • PumpSpy monitors your primary pump, backup pump and battery – testing them three times a week!
  • Text message, email, and PumpSpy app alerts
  • Smart Predictive Maintenance feature alerts you to the end of life expectancy of your primary sump pump based on its performance history
  • Going out of town? Great! Send alerts to your house sitter, neighbor, handyman, or whoever and however many people you like
  • Cellular data works when Wi-Fi doesn’t
  • PumpSpy has a support line where you speak to a real waterproofing expert 7:30am-7:30pm weekdays, just call the toll free number printed on the backup system
  • When you activate your PumpSpy Monitoring, Pioneer Basement Solutions can log into your system as a contractor and see your history, allowing us to better serve you!
  • PumpSpy pumps more water and lasts longer than  “off the shelf” backup systems
pumpspy data

Sump pump battery backup self monitors giving you reports on performance

Call Pioneer get-arrow for more info on installing your sump pump battery backup system today!

exterior basement waterproofing

Exterior Basement Waterproofing

Exterior Basement Waterproofing Membrane

An exterior basement waterproofing membrane or an interior basement waterproofing system?  That is the question!  Many people I visit tell me in so many words, “I want to know what will fix my problem”.  I hear from potential customers they have had a couple basement waterproofing contractors in to look at their basement and they get different opinions from each one.  That is very frustrating to the consumer and to me quite frankly.  Almost all basement waterproofing companies have a “system” they prefer and they sell it to everyone they meet. There is no one solution that solves all basement water seepage problems.  Let’s take a look at what type of problem exterior basement waterproofing solves.

exterior basement waterproofing

Wet basement walls are a result of failed seal on exterior of foundation

If you have wet basement walls, wet higher that the bottom row or two of block, this means water is seeping into your foundation at ground level or at some point mid way.  How water seeps into the foundation is through cracks and through failed foundation sealing.  What causes this can be a variety of issues such as gutter and downspout issues, bad grading, sloping patios etc… However, fixing the cause usually doesn’t dry up the basement wall because the damage is done.

There are two ways to achieve a dry basement, with an interior solution or with an exterior solution.  But for those who want actually fix the problem of water seeping into the foundation wall, you have to stop the water from getting into the wall in the first place with exterior basement waterproofing.

The process of exterior basement waterproofing involves excavating down to the bottom of the foundation.  Then the walls are cleaned of debris etc… to prepare for application of a waterproof coating.  All cracks and gaps are filled in and a waterproof coating is brushed, rolled or sprayed on to the foundation sealing up the porous surface. Then a waterproof membrane is applied to completely waterproof the foundation.  At Pioneer we apply a dimpled membrane which gives added benefits of air gap technology and a bit of cushion against the soil pressure.

 

 

exterior basement waterproofing membrane

Exterior basement waterproofing with dimpled membrane

New foundation drainage is installed.  This step is as critical as the sealing of the foundation.  The new foundation drainage should be 4″ PVC perforated pipe and it should have a pitch, or downhill slope, towards the evacuation point.  The evacuation point is either a sump pump system or a gravity drain that either exits the surface somewhere away from the foundation, or ties to a city drainage system. Many contractors do not ensure proper flow of the drains away from the foundation because most municipalities do not require it.  I know that sounds crazy and it is.  This problem of drains not flowing properly is very prevalent in new construction.

After drainage is installed properly a back fill of gravel is installed over the foundation drains.  Top soil is then installed over the gravel with a positive slope away from the foundation.

 

 

 

Interior Full Wall Basement Waterproofing System

Interior Full Wall Basement Waterproofing System

So how do you achieve a dry basement on the interior? Interior drainage can be installed below the floor along the footer to collect and direct ground water away from foundation.  Interior waterproof panels can be applied to the basement walls giving you a waterproof, dry and maintenance free basement wall surface.  This is a good solution for some people who may not want to dig up the exterior for what ever reason, or they simply do not want to invest in the exterior method.  Weep holes are installed in the foundation to drain water that may get into it allowing the wall to drain, dry up as well as breathe.  There may still be dampness in the foundation with this method like using waterproofing paint, but it is sealed off from the basement giving the homeowner a dry basement space and the foundation can drain and dry through the weep holes.  Using waterproofing paint can dam up water inside the foundation.  Water laying in the foundation will lead to paint failure and can also lead to decay.

If your basement walls are mostly dry but have a few areas of dampness, a combination of interior basement waterproofing and an exterior basement waterproofing membrane can be installed to give you a dry and healthy basement.

Call Pioneer Basement Solutions today for a free, no obligation review of your foundation.  We will evaluate the overall condition structurally and review the condition of the foundation waterproofing and drainage system.  Once issues are identified we will review causes and all potential solutions.  We take the approach of educating and advising our potential customers so they can make the best possible decision about their basement concerns.  No sales games, no sales pressure.  Straightforward answers and straightforward pricing.

get-arrowGet in touch today to explore an exterior basement waterproofing membrane and other options for your home.

basement waterproofing contractor ohio

basement waterproofing warranty

Waterproofing a basement

Waterproofing a basement

When looking at options for waterproofing a basement there are only three.  You can waterproof your basement from the outside, from the inside or a combination of both to some degree.

You should start by identifying what type of problem you have.  Most basements have either a problem with surface water getting to the walls or ground water building up from below.  The symptoms of each are quite different.  For the most part surface water problems will lead to wet basement walls and ground water problems lead to wet basement floors.

If you have wet basement walls that are wet more than just at the bottom row or two you likely have a surface water intrusion into the basement wall from the outside.  This causes bubbling paint, white powder on the walls, mortar rot and can lead to weakness and cracking of the foundation. Waterproofing a basement from the outside will restore the exterior seal of the basement / foundation wall preventing water and dampness from getting to it.  Our multi step process starts with excavation of the basement walls to the bottom of the footer exposing the entire foundation.  Next we clean the surfaces for a thorough inspection looking for weak points and cracks. We them repair the basement foundation cracks and weak points before applying a full seal coating to your basement walls.   The “icing on the cake” is the unique dimpled air gap basement waterproofing membrane that is bonded to your foundation walls resulting in a guaranteed dry foundation wall.  New PVC footer drains are installed with gravel and the soil is put back with a nice positive grade away from the foundation walls.

Waterproofing a basement from the outside

Exterior basement waterproofing membrane for permanently dry foundation

 

Note: It is very important that your roof water is directed away from the foundation.  Overflowing gutters and improperly draining downspouts are major contributors to wet basements and wet basement walls.

You may not need exterior basement waterproofing if you have paint on your basement walls that is more than a year old and it still looks like it did when you painted it.  Basements that leak water on to the floor through the seam where the wall meets the floor typically are a result of ground water build up.  These issues may result in wet basement walls at the bottom row or two but the remainder of the wall is all or mostly dry.  Waterproofing a basement from the inside may be a great option if this is your basement.  In fact, if you have water under the basement floor the only way to dry that up is from the inside.  Exterior drains will not get water under the floor since the foundation separates the two areas.

On top of footer gutter

Level water trough installed on top of footer has no slope to drainage point and holds water

Waterproofing a basement from the inside, commonly called interior basement systems, involve drainage installed under the basement floor relieve the “hydro-static pressure” or water pressure in the ground that builds up around your foundation. There are many companies that offer this type of solution for wet basements but they can vary greatly in design and performance.  Look out for systems that are level.  Level water trough systems that are installed on top of the footer or next to the footer hold water.  Only when water fills the trough can it build up movement as it seeks a level and make its way to the drain point.

Look for a system that is a true interior footer drain.  A true interior footer drain is installed in a trench down next to the footer and it slopes down hill towards the drainage point, usually a sump pump system.  There should be about 1/2″ fall for every 10 feet of drain pipe to promote a good flowing drain and many municipalities actually require this method.

 

 

 

If your basement has mostly ground water issue and some areas of the basement walls are wet, a combination of interior and exterior basement waterproofing may be a good solution.  In some cases there is a wet spot on a basement wall that is not reasonably accessible from the outside.  An interior waterproofing system for the wall may be a good alternative in this case.  Interior basement waterproofing panels are non permeable, meaning non porous.  So they will not grow mold or mildew in them and they are a vapor barrier as well.  This stops any wicking or transmission of exterior dampness into your basement space and it is a permanent, maintenance free solution.

Waterproofing a basement from the inside with waterproof wall panels

Interior Full Wall Basement Waterproofing System brightens up your space and is maintenance free!

 

No two basements are identical and there is no one size fits all solutions for wet basements.  Be on the look out for basement waterproofing companies that have a “system” that they are promoting.  Typically they are patented or the sales person says they are the only ones who install a particular product or technique.  This is a marketing ploy to attempt to stand out in the crowd. The best companies will have capability to customize any solution to fit your needs and solve your wet basement problems whether waterproofing a basement from the inside or the outside.

Call Pioneer today for a free consultation with no sales pressure and no gimmicks. get-arrow

Award winning service since 1979.  No other basement waterproofing company has a better reputation than Pioneer when it comes to waterproofing a basement

How to make a basement waterproof

How to make a basement waterproof

We just came out of what seemed like a never ending rainy season that kicked off after a never ending winter, which led to a lot of leaky basements and homeowners asking how to make a basement waterproof.  Firstly any basement waterproofing contractor promising to make your basement completely waterproof should be questioned and some homework should be done to investigate any BBB complaints.  Bottom line is that your basement is in a hole in the ground and no one can control mother nature completely.  However; short of natural floods that push water into basements through windows etc… you can actually waterproof your basement and stay dry when your neighbors are getting out the shop vacs.

So we should define what waterproof means as it relates to your basement.  Waterproofing stops water from getting into your foundation. Your foundation four the sake of this conversation is the basement walls.  So to truly have a waterproof basement you would need to apply a waterproof membrane to the exterior of your basement walls to stop water from getting into your foundation. If you have wet basement walls higher than the bottom row or two of block then that means water is entering your foundation above the floor level and the original waterproofing seal is compromised.  In this case you have a surface water issue and exterior basement waterproofing will actually waterproof basement walls and dry up your basement.

Wet basement wall

Wet basement wall / water entering high in foundation

Exterior basement waterproofing membrane

Exterior basement waterproofing membrane

 

interior basement waterproofing

Dry foundation walls but leaking through wall floor seams are fixed with interior footer drainage systems.

Now I may confuse the matter a little.  If your foundation is dry, that is if your basement walls are dry, but you have water that leaks through the edges of the floor at the wall – floor seam or up through cracks / weak points of the floor… then exterior basement waterproofing may not solve your problem.  You may have a ground water problem in this case which may require a different approach to dry up your basement.  Ground water problems usually show only after sustained periods of rain or fast heavy downpours.  The leaking appears at the wall – floor seams after these sustained conditions occur and may even continue to seep even after the rains stop.  This is because the ground water is building up around your foundation from below and has nowhere to go other than in to your basement until the water subsides to below your floor level.  In this scenario an interior basement waterproofing system will catch the water from below the floor level and prevent the build up, relieving the hydrostatic pressure that pushes the water in.  Ok, so to call it “waterproofing” is not the best definition since it is actually a ground water control system also called a hydrostatic pressure relief system.  The term interior basement waterproofing has become the generic label for these systems although technically it does not consist of a waterproof membrane.  Nonetheless, you will have a guaranteed dry basement with an interior drainage system if you have a ground water problem.

 

 

This type of system is installed level and is not sloped to drain

This type of system is installed level and is not sloped to drain

 

 

Not all interior basement waterproofing systems are equal.  Some systems are simply an evolution of the old baseboard gutter that the DIYers would glue to the floor to keep water from running through the basement.  these systems are channels that are installed level under the floor on top of the footer.  Level is the operative word here, level means water lays in there and creepy bugs love water.  Look for systems that consist of a true footer drain installed below the floor and is pitched to run downhill to the evacuation point. Furthermore any water that is building up under the floor has to push up into the drain on top of the footer to get to the drain maintaining the water level at a very high point.

 

 

There are always exceptions, meaning some basements need a little bit of a combination of methods to solve the problems and ensure a dry solid foundation.  Look for basement waterproofing contractors who do not sell a patented system.  These businesses train sales people to sell their unique system to everyone they visit which is the one size fits all mentality.  It is the only thing they can sell so they are very good at convincing unwitting homeowners that theirs is the latest and best solution.  They will even go so far as to say the are full service and can sell you any solution.  They will review different methods and point out why it won’t work narrowing you down to the one they sell…it’s like the old slight of hand card trick.  Look for contractors who are truly custom and demonstrate problem solving skills that lead to a solution or combination of solutions that fix your unique basement water leaking problems.

If you would like to learn more about how to make a basement waterproof contact us today for a no pressure inspection from our solutions estimator today get-arrow

Compare basement waterproofing solutions

Compare Basement Waterproofing Solutions

Many people get confused when trying to compare basement waterproofing solutions.  Knowing how best to fix your wet basement can be tough if you do not do your homework before sitting down with basement waterproofing contractors.  There are different ways to fix wet basements and some are better than others depending on the cause of your basement leaks.

water seepage through bottom of basement walls

water seepage through bottom of basement walls

Achieving a dry basement may not actually solve your foundation leaks even though you do not see water in your basement any more.  First determine what type of problem you have by identifying if the water seepage is caused by surface water such as rain or snow melting and getting into your foundation / basement walls… or if you have a ground water problem which is caused by inadequate foundation drainage resulting in water build up below. When comparing basement waterproofing solutions you will learn some methods will give you a dry basement but not actually fix the problem.

If you have wet basement walls, or basement wall cracks that leak very soon after a rain event that is an indication that surface water is entering your foundation from top to bottom.  Many people first try to build up the soil around the home to slope the water away which may or may not be good to do.  NOTE: For the most part, if the soil around your home is flat or has any grade / slope away at all you are likely ok there.  Do not add soil unless you raise the level of the foundation coating / exterior basement waterproofing to the desired dirt level otherwise you can be making your problem worse.  Most likely wet walls means the original foundation seal is damaged or gone allowing dampness or water to soak into the foundation.  This causes the peeling and bubbling paint / discoloration etc…  You can achieve a dry basement by installing an interior basement waterproofing system;HOWEVER, to fix the cause of the problem in this case the best solution is to stop the water from the outside by installing a new exterior basement waterproofing system.

compare basement waterproofing solutions

Exterior basement waterproofing membrane

If you have water that only comes in under heavy conditions, it doesn’t come in until after the conditions have persisted awhile, walls are mostly all dry especially up high and the seepage happens at the wall floor seam…then you likely have a ground water problem.  Under this scenario ground water rises after a heavy precipitation event / heavy snow melt event to the point that it builds up around the base of your foundation.  Many homes either do not have drains under the basement floor to carry this water away or the drains that were installed by the builder were not properly designed to flow away.  Some drains used from the 70’s through early 2000’s were the black corrugated pipe that has very small slots in them for the water to enter and these can easily get covered by a minimal amount of silt slowing the drainage down to the point of being ineffective.  This type of drainage is no longer acceptable for basement waterproofing of new homes under current building codes for this reason and others.

An interior basement waterproofing system will catch ground water as it builds and prevent it from ever reaching the floor level.  A true system will be called a footer drain and will be installed well below the floor next to the footer.  The footer is a solid concrete “sidewalk” that is typically 18″ or more wide and at least 8″ thick top to bottom.  This is the base the block walls are build on in most homes since the early 1900’s.  Older homes will still benefit from this solution since there definitely was no drain designed into the original construction and the drains would be install at the base of the foundation.

This type of system is installed level and is not sloped to drain

This type of system is installed level and is not sloped to drain

The key to an effective interior basement waterproofing system is that the footer drains are installed with a down hill pitch or slope so that they will drain efficiently.  When you compare basement waterproofing solutions installed from the inside, beware of basement systems that are installed on top of the footer.  These are level gutters that collect water at the floor level.  Water will lay in these gutters until it builds up enough of a level to push its way around to a draining point.  laying water means mold, mildew, bugs, odors etc…   This is simply an upgrade from the old plastic baseboards you can by and glue to the floor to collect water and keep it off of the floor.

There are several other things to consider and no two basements are identical.  We do not believe in a one size fits all solution and we thoroughly review each basement before making recommendations.  Pioneer Basement Solutions has a perfect customer service record with no complaints ever in the history of our company established in 1979!

  

Contact us today to compare basement waterproofing solutions with one of our experts Get-Info

Basement waterproofing Cleveland Ohio

Basement waterproofing Cleveland Ohio

You may find that doing a search on Google for basement waterproofing Cleveland Ohio returns a long list of results and wonder how do you qualify a handful of companies for a visit.  There are some easy qualifiers you may already have considered but to play it safe will will cover them.

When was the company established?  You will need to look at a third party resource to find the answer, or to confirm the claims of the contractors.  The Better Business Bureau is a good place to go for this.  The Better Business Bureau will list the date the business was established, when the business joined the BBB and if they are Accredited Members.  Watch out for a claim like “75 years experience” because this usually means it is a young company that is adding up the employees’ years of service in the industry to get one big number and get you eye off of their actual years in business.

Another great qualifier would be what type of labor is used by the contractors listed under the search for basement waterproofing Cleveland Ohio.  Employee labor can mean better consistency of quality work, better “ownership” of the finished product and better protection under insurance coverage.  Be sure to check for Workman’s Compensation insurance and liability insurance before hiring a basement waterproofing contractor.  By scanning the company websites you should be able to spot this in the “About Us” area as any contractor having these qualities will want to point them out.

Look for any awards or special recognition from third party organizations such as Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau.  Read customer reviews and or complaints to get a good idea about how the basement waterproofing company deals with customer service and honoring warranties.

If you have leaky basement and have done a search for basement waterproofing Cleveland Ohio give Pioneer call today!

 

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